The Future of Law is committed law students who become committed lawyers

The future of any profession rests with the next generation of young people who wish to join its ranks. I am pleased to say that the future of the legal profession is in good hands after attending the 2013 Attorney General’s Student Pro Bono Awards at the House of Commons on Monday 25 March.

The Awards have been running since 2007 and celebrate the pro bono work that law students and law schools engage in to support their local communities and the rule of law.

I was lucky enough to be one of the judges again this year and the quality of applications was outstanding. In fact, my fellow judges (Nick Fluck, Isla Grant and Robin Porter) and I had such difficulty in separating the students put forward for the individual award that we produced a shortlist of eight candidates from which we chose a winner and two runners-up.

Full details of the shortlisted candidates can be found on the LawWorks website and the winners of each of the categories were as follows: 

  • Best contribution by a law school - Sheffield Hallam University: “The University law clinic has been the flagship of the law programme for the past 20 years and SHU was one of the first pioneers into this method of teaching law.”
  • Best contribution by a team of students – Oxford Pro Bono Publico at the University of Oxford: “…the past year has been the most productive in OPBP’s 13 years of existence. OPBP has historically produced five research projects each year. In the past 16 months, it has produced 12 projects… The projects have been meticulously researched, giving public interest lawyers vital assistance in preparing arguments in cases as diverse as death penalty challenges, hate speech cases, and landmark litigation over class action procedures in South Africa.”
  • Best new student pro bono activity – the Community Legal Helpdesk at the University of Exeter: "This is a scheme that makes a real contribution to the administration of justice."
  • Best individual student – Hannah Cosgrove, University of Strathclyde: “The University of Strathclyde Law Clinic (USLC) would be a very different place were it not for Hannah’s ceaseless enthusiasm, her passion for justice, her commitment to provide the very best service possible, and her vision of a stronger, more connected USLC.”

The range of projects supported and the commitment shown by law students to supporting the administration of justice and the rule of law was inspiring. Congratulations from LexisNexis to them all.

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